Against the background of conflict in the Great Lakes Region, the UK and France promised, at their 1998 Saint-Malo summit, to set aside rivalries and cooperate on Africa. In subsequent Anglo-French gatherings, they singled out the DRC and pledged to work together there to promote peace and tackle poverty. This article asks whether this coordination took place and whether it involved a ‘deconflictualisation’ of approaches, ‘coincidental’ cooperation, or ‘sustained and reciprocal’ collaboration. It looks for evidence of institutionalisation of UK-French ties and policy cooperation in the fields of peacebuilding and poverty reduction. It then identifies the pressures for, and barriers to, collaboration, focusing particularly on the role of interests, foreign policy norms, institutional factors and resource constraints. It concludes by setting out the wider implications of UK-French cooperation and the limited prospects of closer future collaboration.